Physical and psychological factors in the use of mouthpiece force in trumpet playing
1) A strain gauge device was developed to measure the forces exerted in two dimensions on the trumpet mouthpiece during performance. 2) A group of top professional performers (n = 30) and a group of intermediate players (n = 30:) were tested on a wide variety of musical material with mouthpiece force as the dependent variable. Data from the long note exercise in the normal register revealed significant effects for pitch and intensity on the dependent variable. No proficiency effects were observed. The scale and arpeggio exercises revealed a remarkable consistency in the application of mouthpiece force by all the subjects, such that force levels at each selected pitch/intensity combination appeared to be independent of context. The lip flexibility exercise however revealed significant, contextual influences, and it was suggested that musical complexity might be responsible for this. Some proficiency related effects were observed: the professional players had greater levels of maximum tolerable forces, displayed more endurance and were more consistent in the application of-mouthpiece force than the intermediate players across the range of tests. 3) An investigation was carried out on the assessments by trumpet players of the mouthpiece force usage of other players. The judgments involved rating photographs of players performing notes at known force levels. Groups of subjects differing in proficiency showed a high consensual agreement in judgments of mouthpiece force. However, equivalent proficiency groups rating the same photographs according to the criterion of apparent effort yielded almost identical rankings, suggesting that mouthpiece force judgments are made on the basis of this erroneous cue. The extent of consensual agreement and judgmental accuracy was found to be independent of proficiency level. 4) A psychophysical investigation of mouthpiece force using ratio production, magnitude production and magnitude estimation methods produced logarithmic sensory functions for both individual and group data. Judgmental accuracy was found to be unrelated to proficiency level.